In This Chapter
• The critical difference between traffic and customers
• How to build buzz
• How to maximize your PR and marketing dollars
If you spend any time around Internet aficionados, you've probably heard again and again why having a website is cool, but "cool" doesn't easily translate into the bottom line. Often missing from books on the subject is an explanation of why it's a good idea for your business to be online.
Let me relate the story of a current client and her web woes. She has a successful conference business and seeks to supplement her income by selling recordings from the conferences. She'd hired a web developer to build a site and while it offered some rudimentary information on the conferences and a conference registration form, it wasn't helping her business. Worse, because of how the site had been designed, you could search for her conferences in Google and never find them, which meant that potential conference attendees weren't able to find out about the event and register.
To solve this problem, we completely rethought her web and Internet presence to address the question of what she was trying to accomplish online and how to best achieve her goals. Her goals are probably quite similar to yours:
• Establish a better rapport with her existing customers
• Help new potential customers find her site
• Sell products[md]and her conference[md]to visitors
• Offer useful information resources to the community of which she's a visible member
A web designer or graphics firm would seek to achieve these goals by having an attractive, graphically complex site and paying for targeted advertisements on popular topical websites and portals.
But that's not how we solved this problem. Instead, we realized that a conference shouldn't be something that's created behind the scenes and then promoted in glossy brochures that can be downloaded by visitors, but rather a conference is an event that evolves and takes shape over quite a period of time. Now, as speakers are signed up and venues are selected, each news item becomes an update on the website, an online article online within the framework of her weblog.
Inside The Book